A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong, has said overthrowing a constitutionally elected government in Ghana in the Fourth Republic is not possible.
He said if there is anything to worry about, it should rather be the disgruntled civilians who can rise against a government such as what is happening in the Arab springs and not military officers picking guns to topple a government.
He said these on the Key Points programme on TV3 Saturday, January 9 while contributing to discussions on the Military men who stormed the chamber of parliament on Thursday, January 7 following a stalemate between MPs-elect for the NDC and NPP sides while they were electing a new Speaker of the House.
Some Ghanaians including former President John Dramani Mahama condemned the intervention of the military and called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
“The recent use of the military in civil democratic processes has become a major worry and gives the impression that this administration is continually seeking to resurrect the exorcised ghosts of our military past. Parliament must conduct an investigation into the two incidents and exact appropriate sanctions,” the President Candidate of the NDC in the last elections said in a tweet.
A United States Ghanaian lawyer Professor Kwaku Asare also condemned the intervention of the Military, saying it wasn’t in their place to have stepped in.
But Mr Yaw Oppong told host of the programme Abanea Tabi that the Military should not be seen as enemies of the state.
He said “I think that much as it would have been desirous that they were not there, watching the scenes, the ultimate question to ask is, were they successful in calming tempers and restoring order?
“Obviously, there was disorder. Does it mean that the Marshals have failed, the Police had failed and the last resort had to be the soldiers or the military? The Military also have a role to play and not only might they always be expected to go to war. I don’t remember the last time that we commanded them to go to war on behalf of Ghana.
“But when there is a state of insecurity and all mechanisms provided by law have failed then the question is not so much whether it was proper. Let us look at the end result.
“Let us ask whether the clam that was restored can be attributed to the soldiers. That is a more important question to me than the propriety or otherwise of they coming because at the end of the day, you ask yourself, will the Members of Parliament have continued to be distractive of their own proceedings as we are seeing it right now but for the presence of the soldiers.
“Obviously, wherever we are the presence of police makes; people sit on the edge but when it comes to the soldiers you get a bit more frightening. I am not sure that they had actually come in there to cause mayhem themselves.”
Regarding concerns that the military coming there amounted to a coup, he said “They are entitled to their opinions but my view is that I will look at the end results being that did their presence cause some calm to be returned or to be restored. Because after that we hardly saw such similar incident until the latter part where all the other things came in. So let us not sometimes see the solders as of they are enemies of state or they are enemies of the system.
“I don’t remember the last time that when solders went to stage a coup they actually went to parliament to drive away members of parliament.
“In fact these days I always say that it is almost a near impossibility for any soldIer to stage a coup.”
“The recent development had rather been rank and file of the ordinary people massing up. The Arab Springs are an example, which by the grace of God we hope it would not happen here.”
“Otherwise we will alienate the soldiers. These solders live among us, they have children, they have wives but to put them in pigeon-hole of having sense to distract state institutions all their time.”
“Since 1981 we have never had any coup d’état. Have we? No! and it appears that that has become the established culture and no solder in my view ought to be motivated to disrupt this fantastic system that we are operating.”
Source: 3 News